On the face of things, the Bonfire Night 2020 doesn’t seem like it will be as memorable as Bonfire Nights past.
Like so many other dates in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic lingers over 5thNovember festivities like the ghost of Guy Fawkes.
With large parties cancelled, the rule of six in place across England and many households banned from mixing outside their bubbles, this year’s celebrations will likely see many domestic fireworks displays light up the night sky.
These professional tips will help make sure your fireworks party is less of a damp squib and more like Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Electrifying your fireworks display
Using intelligent electronics to control your fireworks display is one of the best ways to make sure your bonfire party is one to remember. This kit is relatively inexpensive and, if you know how to use it effectively, it can make for a spectacular display.
Electrifying your display means that you can safely set off more than one firework at once. It also allows you to stagger fireworks and helps prevent any long pauses or gaps that can really suck the life out of a show.
The development of computerised firing systems has allowed display designers to create a litany of exciting new effects.
One way it can be used is by taking a number of simple ‘single shot’ roman candles and setting them to ignite one after the other, with very short gaps in between shots. Using your fireworks in this way means that you can produce more interesting effects using relatively inexpensive fireworks. Using low-powered fireworks is also quieter and helps reduce the overall risk to public safety.
If you want to use electronics to ignite your fireworks display, there are a few things you’ll need.
Igniters attach to the fuse of your firework, lighting each rocket, candle or cake at the perfect time for maximum effect. Buying high quality igniters helps minimise the risk of anything going wrong with your display, but you may need to use a relay and an external battery to ensure fuses light successfully.
The firing system is the brains of your display, telling each firework when to ignite. There are different kinds of firing system, from manual systems that you can control with a multi-fire switch, to more advanced systems that you can programme to fire automatically.
If you want to use an automated system, you will need to have some basic programming knowledge to configure your display.
You’ll also need a range of essentials, including something to mount your fireworks on, HDPE firing tubes and a range of tape and ties to keep everything in place.
More professional firework tips
Fireworks can be great fun for the family, but they can also be dangerous. Most fireworks-related accidents happen at small parties, not professional displays.
If you want a professional-style display, you need to make sure you take safety seriously. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)has a Firework Code to help avoid preventable accidents.
- Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
- Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
Know the law
You should also make sure that your household fireworks display isn’t breaking the law. Here’s some of the most common rules that people fall foul of.
- Don’t set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. On Bonfire Night this is extended to midnight.
- Don’t set off any fireworks in the street or in public places.
- Check any local fireworks restrictions with your council.
Speak to your neighbours
Although you don’t need to get your neighbours’ permission to set off fireworks at home, it’s usually a good idea to speak to them beforehand.
You may not be aware, for example, that some of your neighbours suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fireworks can also be particularly distressing for some animals like dogs and horses.
Not sure what you’re looking for? Ask a member of the Hilltop team for more information about electronic and safety accessories. Call: 01942 723101.